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Marketing Mastery: The foolproof sales system

September 2/9 2013; Volume 27/number 10

By Jim Armstrong

(Second of two parts)

Jim ArmstrongJim:  Here’s a system that will enable your sales team to close 50% more sales with zero marketing costs. I recommend weekly sales trainings to get your team up to speed.

Floor dealer: I don’t have time to do weekly sales meetings.

Jim:  I’m curious. What’s taking up all your time that’s more important than increasing sales?

A couple of years ago I was visiting California’s central coast to attend a business seminar when I went into a Starbucks to get a Trenta black iced tea, my caffeine delivery system of choice. Upon exiting, I spotted a flooring store a few doors down, so I decided to walk in and play prospect. (I do this sometimes when I travel.)

After wandering around the store for a few minutes, a young lady approached me and asked one of the two questions 98% of dealers ask prospects: “May I help you?” (To find out what the other question is—and why both questions cause dealers to get beat up on price—see part 1 of this series. FCNews, Aug. 19/26) I told her that I was just looking. She replied with the standard, “Let me know if I can help you with anything,” then walked away.

She was friendly, professionally dressed, looked the part, but her opening line made it obvious to me that she had not been trained to use a system for selling flooring. The owner of this store was leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on the table because of this oversight, and most likely blaming slow sales on “the economy,” customers who “only care about price,” or the Home Depot down the street.

If you don’t have a system for selling, you’ll be at the mercy of your customer’s system for buying.

A carefully engineered selling system is critical if you want to maximize profits and escape the rat race of selling on price. A good selling system should do the following:

•Lead the prospect on a logical, step-by-step process from “shopper” to “buyer.”

•Create instant differentiation from all the other dealers the prospect may have visited.

•Give the salesperson 100% control over the sales process from the start.

•Position the salesperson as a trusted advisor, much like a family doctor, rather than just another hack who is hocking flooring.

•Totally eliminate premature price discussions.

•Create up-sell opportunities that don’t feel like up-sells to the prospect.

•Dramatically reduce or eliminate price resistance.

I coach floor dealers to use a trademarked selling system I created which meets all of these qualifications. It’s incredibly gratifying to see a dealer immediately begin to close more sales by moving away from “winging it” to using a system for selling. The best part is that these extra sales are made without any increases in advertising costs.

By implementing a selling system like the one I’ve described it’s possible for each member of your sales team to close at least one additional sale per week. If your average ticket is $3,000, that’s an extra $156,000 per year in sales, per salesperson, without spending another dime in advertising. And that’s even more exciting than winning a brand new installation van!